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 University gives you a better chance in this Industry? 
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:44 am
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Post University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
As i approach my ORD date, I've been thinking about what todo in the future and also what others a are doing.

I met up with my old lectuere recently, and he was telling me about how students who just came out of an overseas Uni, were looking for Jobs. with One of the big MNC's here (won't mention name).

What i notice was that the MNC seemed to favor Uni grads more then poly grads even though their portfolio is about the same (in my opinion, no big improvement). They seem to think very highly of these grads.

I respect Uni grads (my sis just recently graduated) and I do see the value of studying in a university (especially OVERSEAS ones.)

But should'nt an employer value portfolio skill more then academic qualification? Especially for artistic based Jobs?

I will be the first to admit that the poly's teach shit, and you are no where qualified when you graduate.

But doesn't the portfolio matter more then your degree?

So my question is this, Does a Uni degree help you get started in this industry? Does it help you get noticed?

I know some of you will say that, 'all that matters is your portfolio', and i agree. But this is not what i see in this society. Not in this country at least.

-end rant-

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Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:56 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:44 pm
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Location: Singapore
Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
Hi

Sorry. Hah hah. I am not a MNC. :P

So I am just sharing my own experience. So far, we have hired more than 100 artists in our company. I can tell you that we will never never look at anyone's qualification. NEVER. Only portfolio. In fact. We even require them to do a test at times. We don't care whether the person is N level, O level or NO level. I need someone who can really do the job. We are not doing local projects. But international work. Quality is the top most concern. And we are working with international directors. If the work doesn't meet the standard. Not just the artist is in trouble. But the whole entire company. When the crunch is on. Everyone in the crew must be able to do the work. Else the ship will sink.

I can also share with you my experience in job placement for companies. I have been helping many talents locate their work for the last 13 years as an animation association. And also for my students in our animation school. I have worked with companies locating their talents as well. Again. NEVER NEVER qualifications. Only portfolio.

I have quite a number of applicants who are university grads. Maybe their course is too academic. So far, the reels I received from them is worst than the poly grads. I am not saying for sure this is the case. What I am saying is one's portfolio quality is dependent on whether the course is more academic or industry focus. Example. Though VFS is offering only certification. But their student reel for modeling is way better than any university grad. Same for Animation Mentor and Gobelins. Reason for this is that their course are less academic but more industry focus.

Another famous animation university I know used to offer only certification in the past. Not degree. At that time. The program was more industry focus. And they bring in a lot of industry people to teach. Recent years they became a university. The program becomes more academic. And also as a university. They do not allow those without masters and below to teach. A lot of good industry people can no longer teach there. Since then I heard. The standard is dropping.

As for the case you just mentioned. I am not sure you are referring to some people I know. If it is. Then the answer is this. Those people graduated from overseas. Besides having the degree. Their portfolio is good. And they have worked for several years before doing the degree. Hence it stands out.

In general. Most MNC I know that is based here don't really care. But there is one particular one I know. They do look at it at times. Mainly the HR side who are corporate people. They will look at it because in their country. Almost everyone has a degree. So they have an impression that the person without a degree might lose out in terms of intellectual level. This is what I heard. I might be wrong.

However the bottomline is still depending who is the decision maker. If the final decision maker is a production guy. He will still look for the right skillset needed. Else his team will be in trouble. And the only thing that indicate the skillset is the portfolio.

Besides a good portfolio. What really matter is CONNECTION. If the person who is hiring knows you well. It makes things super easy. Hence it is absolutely important to stay friendly. Be connected. Don't make enemies. Some people has good portfolio. But during interview gives a bad impression. shows bad attitude. Then one will never get it. So GOOD CONNECTION and PORTFOLIO is super important if you ask me. And these are more important than qualification.

Having said this. Technical position. Very often. Qualification is still the only form of indication whether one's has the relevant skill.

Hope it helps.


Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:44 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:43 am
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Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
IMHO Its mainly paper to satisfy the bureaucrates who do not know how to look at portfolios, so the qualifications are the only thing they understand. Works both ways apparently, regardless its overseas talents coming in or local talents venturing out. But if one is that good with no local substitute, the interested company will figure a way out to get that person in.

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Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:58 pm
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:44 am
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Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
Hi David and zhanzhao, thanks for taking the time to reply.

Quote:
So I am just sharing my own experience. So far, we have hired more than 100 artists in our company. I can tell you that we will never never look at anyone's qualification. NEVER. Only portfolio. In fact. We even require them to do a test at times. We don't care whether the person is N level, O level or NO level. I need someone who can really do the job. We are not doing local projects. But international work. Quality is the top most concern. And we are working with international directors. If the work doesn't meet the standard. Not just the artist is in trouble. But the whole entire company. When the crunch is on. Everyone in the crew must be able to do the work. Else the ship will sink.

Yes, your company is one of the ones i really respect, and I think others should follow your example too.

Quote:
I can also share with you my experience in job placement for companies. I have been helping many talents locate their work for the last 13 years as an animation association. And also for my students in our animation school. I have worked with companies locating their talents as well. Again. NEVER NEVER qualifications. Only portfolio.

I am glad to hear this. Thanks for the info.

Quote:
As for the case you just mentioned. I am not sure you are referring to some people I know. If it is. Then the answer is this. Those people graduated from overseas. Besides having the degree. Their portfolio is good. And they have worked for several years before doing the degree. Hence it stands out.



I don't think they have much working expirence. The employer called up my lecturer for referrals. The Uni that they come out of, usually the students not very big improvement, maybe about 1 out of 10 graduates are exceptional.
But i don't know i just felt that with a degree, you will be put 'higher' on the list for a job then compared to a diploma or no cert.
I guess from what you are saying, this couldn't be possible.

Quote:
Besides a good portfolio. What really matter is CONNECTION. If the person who is hiring knows you well. It makes things super easy. Hence it is absolutely important to stay friendly. Be connected. Don't make enemies. Some people has good portfolio. But during interview gives a bad impression. shows bad attitude. Then one will never get it. So GOOD CONNECTION and PORTFOLIO is super important if you ask me. And these are more important than qualification.

I agree, my people skills are not that great to be honest with you. But i am improving slowly overtime, i guess.

Quote:
IMHO Its mainly paper to satisfy the bureaucrates who do not know how to look at portfolios, so the qualifications are the only thing they understand. Works both ways apparently, regardless its overseas talents coming in or local talents venturing out. But if one is that good with no local substitute, the interested company will figure a way out to get that person in.

Yes i see this too. Especially if you want to work in local schools.

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Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:43 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:44 pm
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Location: Singapore
Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
Oh one more point. Besides Connection and Portfolio. If you have a "cheekopek" or Cheeky supervisor. Then if you are HOT. You get a better chance. Hah hah. Sorry ladies in the house. I know quite a few cases like this. Sigh. Blame the male dominated environment.

Jokes aside. My principle is simple. If you are a man of substance. You do not need to worry. Paper cannot wrap fire. I know some people bullshit their way in. Or kiss asses to get up. This will not last long. Eventually the truth will be out there. Its a small industry. I know some people like that. I told them to master their skill rather than base on these crooked ways to move up. Eventually the company they worked for closed down. They are back to square one. Jobless.

Building a good reputation in the industry is crucial. This industry is very small. And hiring is not from daily papers. Its a lot about who you know. So it is VERY IMPORTANT to build connection. I know Singaporeans who knows how to build the relationship. Now they are working for big studios in US. But don't bang on this alone. Your skill matters the most. So first. Have the skill. Then the connection.

As for a degree. If you have the money. Do it. But choose a good school. So that the objective is to learn. Not to anyhow get a stupid paper. Else it will make no difference.

The good thing about the degree is when you want to migrate and work overseas. The immigration dpt is particular about this. If you want to work in US. You should do a degree there probably. Japanese immigration is particular as well. TD, VFX artists and any tech related positions are useful with a degree. Teaching positions as well.

If you need any help. Let me know.


Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:59 pm
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:44 am
Posts: 127
Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
Quote:
Oh one more point. Besides Connection and Portfolio. If you have a "cheekopek" or Cheeky supervisor. Then if you are HOT. You get a better chance. Hah hah. Sorry ladies in the house. I know quite a few cases like this. Sigh. Blame the male dominated environment.


You know if i were a woman, I would be really upset if some one hire me just because i look good. I feel disrespected leh, haha.

Quote:
As for a degree. If you have the money. Do it. But choose a good school. So that the objective is to learn. Not to anyhow get a stupid paper. Else it will make no difference.


I was thinking of studying overseas too. My main purpose was to learn from the overseas talents, i believe alot of things you can't really learn in Singapore.
I was thinking of applying at CalArts. I had a friend from there and he told me his experiences, which was really cool. He's a film director now. I want to learn film and animation direction too. CalArts Storytelling skill is damn good in my opinion.

I don't really want to learn anymore 3D, if i am going to study i want to learn about other things, like film direction/Storytelling, which i have taken a liking too.

But CalArts is really expensive, and i doubt i can get a scholarship with my GPA.
Also, i duno if i want to spend 4 years studying! I'm going to be 23 already man, i feel damn old!

But it's ok if i cant study, i learn better by myself and in working environments anyway.

But life is funny, strange things happen i can never predict, so see how it goes.

Maybe my hand-phone case business suddenly picks up and i become a trillion air. You never know ok :D

Thanks for the advice David, really helps :)

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Portfolio: http://aaron-animations.com/
3D Printing Shop: http://www.polychemy.com/


Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:27 am
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:44 pm
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Location: Singapore
Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
Hi

I know people who has knowledge of CalArts. If you want. I can introduce you. They have worked many years in US.

I agree with you about learning Art and stop learning CG. I started off like you. And then I decided to learn other things which help me a lot in what I do now.

As for learning at work in Singapore, one can't learn as much. This is my experience. One need to jump into the ocean only then one will learn how to swim. It doesn't matter whether you jump into Singapore ocean or US ocean.

I know a guy who run one of the world top stereoscopic 3d post house in HK. We are good friends. And I asked him how did you get the people. Many people in Hk struggle to survive. They don't take things for granted. They do what they love and throw themselves into things and self ltaught. Many who join him has never attended school. They join the company. Get scolded. Learn from mistake. And that is how they do it. In Singapore. Our mentality is different. We always feel that we can only learn by attending school or learn from the West.

Action Film making (Car chase scene, gun fight scenes) in HK is one of the world best. In fact to me. They are even better than Hollywood. Even Korea is learning from them. Where do all these talents come from. Do they attend school? You will be surprised that many don't even have a primary school education. Have you seen a documentary about how Jacky Chan make his movies. There were many innovative and cost effective ways to do their stuff. Hollywood never teach them. When you are in an ocean and struggling for survival. Your survival instinct will push you to the limits.

For Singapore to survive for the next 50 years. We all need to change our attitude and have a strong will to survive. In countries like Taiwan, HK and Korea. They don't depend on MNC. They don't depend on others to teach them. They build their MNC. They are running one of the world best semi conductor industry, handphone industry and build the world tallest building. Singapore is of a smilar situation. We need to have a fighting spirit.

By the way, the above is not referring to you. Just things in general. You are good. I am sure you will do very well in your career.


Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:06 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:44 pm
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Location: Singapore
Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
By the way, Tiny Island is working with MDA on this. For those who has worked with us for a few years. One who has stood by the company through thick and thin. And believe in building our company together for long term.

We will recommend them for MDA full scholarship. Upon graduation. They will continue to work with us and help build the company.

MDA will pay the full tution fee and we will pay for other supporting expenses. This is opened to Singaporeans and PRs only. (90% of our crew are Singaporeans and PRs).

This effort is a gesture to show appreciation towards our staff hardwork.

MDA require a sponsoring company to support this. As far as I know. So far we are the only animation studio doing this here. We only support our staff. Not any outsiders who just applied based on their academic results. We want people who can do the work. And reward those who has proven themselves. Not one who score As for their exams. LOL.


Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:30 pm
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:44 am
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Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
Quote:
I know a guy who run one of the world top stereoscopic 3d post house in HK. We are good friends. And I asked him how did you get the people. Many people in Hk struggle to survive. They don't take things for granted. They do what they love and throw themselves into things and self ltaught. Many who join him has never attended school. They join the company. Get scolded. Learn from mistake. And that is how they do it. In Singapore. Our mentality is different. We always feel that we can only learn by attending school or learn from the West.

Action Film making (Car chase scene, gun fight scenes) in HK is one of the world best. In fact to me. They are even better than Hollywood. Even Korea is learning from them. Where do all these talents come from. Do they attend school? You will be surprised that many don't even have a primary school education. Have you seen a documentary about how Jacky Chan make his movies. There were many innovative and cost effective ways to do their stuff. Hollywood never teach them. When you are in an ocean and struggling for survival. Your survival instinct will push you to the limits.


I agree totally with what you said above.

So do you believe that it's possible to be better then the west? with out going to school? There are not many world class talents here so its a bit discouraging.
But there are some here that I really admire.

I really really believe it's possible to learn and improve by expirence and ' throw ourselves into things and self taught' , and reach a international standard with out school. I believe it can be done. But everyone tells me that you got to go to school to be as good as the westerners. I get that impression allot.

I think going to a Uni is great, learning to live by your self and be independent. Experiencing a different culture and country I think is a great opptunity.
But is studying in an overseas uni, absolutely necessarily,to become the best that you want to be?

Quote:
By the way, Tiny Island is working with MDA on this. For those who has worked with us for a few years. One who has stood by the company through thick and thin. And believe in building our company together for long term.

We will recommend them for MDA full scholarship. Upon graduation. They will continue to work with us and help build the company.

MDA will pay the full tution fee and we will pay for other supporting expenses. This is opened to Singaporeans and PRs only. (90% of our crew are Singaporeans and PRs).

This effort is a gesture to show appreciation towards our staff hardwork.

MDA require a sponsoring company to support this. As far as I know. So far we are the only animation studio doing this here. We only support our staff. Not any outsiders who just applied based on their academic results. We want people who can do the work. And reward those who has proven themselves. Not one who score As for their exams. LOL.

Glad to hear this.
It's good that the scholarships are not in the hands of the schools anymore :)

_________________
Portfolio: http://aaron-animations.com/
3D Printing Shop: http://www.polychemy.com/


Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:46 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:44 pm
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Post Re: University gives you a better chance in this Industry?
This is from my experience in the global business.

The world economy is changing. In the next 10 years at least. I see a shift in centre of focus.

In CG Business especially. Like the early days in manufacturing. Only Pre Production is done in the West. All productions are coming to Asia. It is not just outsource work. Even Western companies are coming to Asia to look for investments, fundings and support.

Talents like musicians, CG artists, writers etc are already looking to Asia for work. We receive resumes almost every single day. With the weakening of the US dollars and Euros. You will see that happening even more.

I will see Asia being the hub in future. So one do not need to travel to the West to learn from the best. I see the best slowly congregate here.

Semi conductors industry for example. Taiwan is now the leading country. HTC has made a name globally. And it is from Taiwan. In Taiwan. They build one of the world tallest building. HwaWei China will take over the world in telecommunications. They control most of the telecommuncations infrastructure around the world. And where does all the stereoscopic 3d screens come from. Asia? When you go to Times Square. All the big screens there are all from Korea and Japan.

Have you seen the Hong Kong / China and Korea VFX standard now. Look at their War Scenes. And also look at their craft man building real sets and props.

Asia is changing. And it is changing fast. Even Vietnam is coming up.

When one does business. Do not go to a place that has already been developed. Go to a place that is developing. You are no body in a crowded area.

So I don't see what is impossible. Of course. I am not saying Singapore can do it alone. We need partners. I believe in unity. I am building relationship in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong. And slowly in China. You need to see Asia like Europe. Or the whole USA. Things will change.

You are young. You will see the change.
The industry is still very young. We cannot expect we build it overnight. It takes time. First. We need to prove ourselves.

By the way. I don't discourage anyone going to the university. But make sure you go to one where you can really learn. The objective must be clear. Not for the paper. I studied in UK. It is not want I studied that made me who I am today. Its the exposure in thinking differently. I have bag packed and travel half the planet. I have seen the world and realise many things in life that we cannot take it for granted. We need to change the way we do things if we want to compete in the next 50 years. With the internet. It has bring the world together. It makes the world a lot smaller and easier to work together.

To end. I just want to say. Believe in yourself. Do what others do not do. (Good things of course) Learn to think and analyse. Don't follow the rest just because you are scare. Else how can you be the best if you are one in a millions. :P


Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:19 pm
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